Many people describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ and talk of having ‘spiritual awakenings’..
…But what is spiritual awareness?
I believe it means consciously connecting with the fact we’re not just a body, but we have a spirit.
That said, people have various definitions for what it means, so let’s dive in and look at what others think spiritual awareness actually is…
…And why is it so important!
Spiritual awareness defined
But what does it mean to be aware of our spiritual nature?
They suggest that:
“To become spiritually aware is to awaken to our true nature as spirit, to experience our true self. Spirituality is the process of discovering our true self. We normally think that perception is possible only through our bodily sense organs. Nevertheless, when we become spiritually aware, we recognize that we can perceive with the spirit.”
Simply put, there is a coming home to our true selves through spiritual awareness.
However, in the same breath they also write:
“But what is our true nature? Are we simply the body that we come into this world with, that ages with time and withers away after death? Are we the mind that grows astute with intellectual pursuits only to evaporate at the time of death? Are we our emotions that change as frequently as the weather? Or is there much more to our “selves”? Is there something more constant, more powerful that defines our true self?”
In other words, the idea of our true selves is complex!
What it means to connect with our true selves isn’t that straightforward, however we can definitely begin to forge a greater connection with all parts of ourselves through looking inwards.
Chopra also recognizes that what it means to be spiritually aware can mean different things to different people.
“The idea of being “aware” may conjure up diverse viewpoints among different people around the world. To one person, being aware may imply that a person is consciously aware of something obvious, like there being a lot of traffic on the freeway or that there is a storm front moving in. To another person, awareness could be construed as human consciousness, in the way that Deepak Chopra teaches it—as being the oneness that connects everyone and everything, and who you are at the core of your being. In this context, you become awareness itself; the omnipresent witness of everything in existence.”
You could say that what it means to be spiritually aware is open to interpretation!
Why not write your own definition of what you think it is to be spiritually aware today, and take a look at it in six months time!
How can I become spiritually aware?
The Science of Spirituality highlights meditation as a means to becoming aware of our spiritual nature.
They call meditation ‘inner concentration’ and explain that is has a role in helping us to shut off from external stimulation:
“To understand this process better, we need to understand the nature of our attention. Our attention is the outer expression of our soul. It is currently scattered throughout the body and exits into the world through the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Through these senses, we enjoy the world outside and remain focused on the outer world. To become conscious of our soul, which resides within us, we have to withdraw our attention from the world outside, and focus it at the seat of the soul, between and behind the two eyebrows.”
In other words, if we want to become spiritually aware then a shift needs to take place from experiencing the world through the senses to bringing the focus inwards.
You could say this means quieting the outside noise and stimulation, and finding the stillness within.
The Science of Spirituality adds:
“As we withdraw our sensory currents, our attention begins to collect at the eye-focus. In the darkness around us, we perceive inner Light, not through our outer eyes, but through the inner eye. It is at this point that we become conscious of our soul. As we connect with this inner Light, the current leads us from physical consciousness into higher consciousness.”
So how do we actually ‘withdraw our sensory currents’?
In my experience, meditation is best experienced in a quiet environment.
This might sound obvious, but it’s really important to not have any distractions around you to allow you to find quietness.
Find a quiet space, where you know you’re not going to be disturbed, and put on some calming music.
You could even hang a sign on the door that says ‘do not disturb!’ for peace of mind.
Next, find what works for you when it comes to actually meditating.
There are so many meditation apps designed to make meditating accessible and easy to follow.
You could meditate for 5 minutes of 5 hours, but I suggest starting small so it’s sustainable.
Alternatively, you could just do a breathwork exercise where you focus on and follow the natural rhythm of your breathing.
Now, through the process of doing this regularly, you’ll create a greater connection with your inner world and get closer to becoming more and more spiritually aware.
Becoming spiritually aware each and every day
The act of mindfulness can help us be more aware of each and every day.
It means to be present in the here and now, and aware of our realities as they are.
Simply put, it means bringing awareness to what is – without trying to change things.
In other words, there is a level of acceptance that comes with being mindful!
Chopra defines mindfulness as “a technique or practice of maintaining your focus on your thoughts, words, and actions.” They write:
“It’s a skillset you can develop to help you disconnect from the busyness of the world you live in and recenter yourself in the present moment. You can learn to be mindful of how you approach life, how you view yourself and others, and how you navigate interpersonal relationships. Being mindful is another way of saying that you’re being watchful—watchful of your mindset, emotions, and behaviors.”
Can you see the similarity between being mindful and meditation?
There is a need to consciously disconnect from the busyness of life and to not allow yourself to become consumed by external stimulation!
Chopra adds that:
“Mindfulness is about paying attention to the beauty of nature: watching the sunrise and sunset, feeling a warm breeze on your face, swimming in the ocean, walking barefoot in the grass, or staring up into a starlit sky at night—and noticing how it makes you feel inside. These are all examples of a mindfulness-based lifestyle.”
Simply put, mindfulness has no boundaries and is something that can be applied to your everyday life.
For me, mindfulness starts from the moment I wake up.
Rather than mindlessly picking up my phone and doom scrolling through other people’s social media feeds, I focus on being conscious about starting my day right through connecting with my environment.
I often start my day by stepping outside barefoot and doing a few stretches. This practice of grounding helps me connect to myself!
For you, it might be grabbing your journal and thinking about your internal world for five or ten minutes…
What’s more, there isn’t a rule for what mindfulness looks like, so it can look different from one person to the next!
Why is being spiritually aware important?
Many people chase material wealth for years and even decades…
…You see, the conditioning runs deep in our capitalist society.
We grow up thinking that we need to acquire more and to live in bigger and better houses than the next person.
Let’s be honest, this is considered the cornerstone of being successful!
I know many people who are still in this state.
Maybe this has been a narrative you’ve embodied first-hand or maybe you also know people like this.
Either way, there comes a point where (a lot) people wake up to the fact this isn’t the only way…
…And it’s definitely not the most important thing about our existence.
This is where being spiritually aware steps in.
“There may come a point in your life when you’ve acquired enough success in business and mastered the art of relationships and making healthy lifestyle choices, that you begin to get a nudge from deep within to take a look at what’s really going on beneath all the layers of your social conditioning. You start to wake up to the notion that there’s something bigger calling to you from somewhere beyond your everyday living.
“You may hear an internal voice, see signs all around you, or meet new people who are on their spiritual path and you become intrigued by the possibility that you’re meant for more than the 9-to-5 grind and repetitive, groundhog’s day lifestyle you may have grown accustomed to. You may feel compelled to strive for something more meaningful, yet it’s not money or notoriety—it’s not material possessions or accolades. You can hear your soul calling you to “come home” and reconnect with who you truly are, your soul’s purpose in this lifetime, and your relationship with God, your Higher Self, and the Universe (or whatever best supports your belief system).”
I don’t know about you, but reading this gives me shivers!
You see, I used to be someone who used to be so accustomed to the 9-to-5 grind that I didn’t imagine there was another way.
Even though I’d heard stories of people who traveled and lived in unconventional ways, I didn’t really or truly believe it for myself.
But I knew I couldn’t continue on the path I was on, where I was feeling trapped and desiring the freedom of travel.
Now, the reason for being spiritually aware is so important in this instance is because it allows you to really connect to what it is you do want.
Simply put, if we go through life on autopilot and we don’t stop to think about what we want, it’s no surprise that we end up feeling like we’ve accidentally ended up in the wrong place!
Being spiritually aware allows you to get to know what you really want out of life.
But that’s not the only positive of being spiritually aware…
Spiritual awareness allows you to connect more deeply with others
In addition to deepening your relationship with yourself, spiritual awareness allows you to connect with others in a different way.
Here’s the thing:
You not only show up for yourself in a more authentic way but you do the same for your relationship.
In other words, being spiritually aware allows you to be the best version of yourself.
However, there is something to note when it comes to relationships.
You see, when you’re on a spiritual path it’s common that people start to fall away if you’re no longer aligned.
If you start to head down a more authentic path, there’s a high chance that people will seemingly fall away.
Now, I’ve been through this and I won’t lie: it can feel tough!
As I gained more spiritual awareness and decided to embark on a more spiritual life, I had so many moments where I wondered why people were falling away from me.
You see, a lot of my friendships I used to have centered around partying and drinking a lot.
So when I stopped this… It was as though there was no longer a place for these people as I didn’t want to spend my time doing this!
“It’s important to point out that, as you progress along your spiritual journey and you begin to wake up, the type of people you previously surrounded yourself with may not necessarily vibe with you (or vice versa) as much anymore. This is normal and it can also be somewhat disconcerting. Know that it is one of the clearest ways to gauge your level of transformation, as uncomfortable and confusing as it may feel at first.
“In some cases, certain friendships may fall away entirely because you’re no longer vibrating on the same frequency. You may find yourself, at times, feeling lonelier but if you stay the course, it won’t be long before you begin attracting new people who are meant to walk alongside you in one way or another.”
Now, the good news is that I did also experience what Chopra suggests which is aligning with the right people!
I put out the intention that I wanted to align with people that were on the same vibe as me… And it didn’t take long until I started meeting those people.
Simply put, I put myself in environments where I was able to meet these people!
I started going to retreats and festivals that were centered around spirituality, and I joined different online talks.
Truth is, it didn’t take long to attract new people into my life!
What’s more, these new friendships feel much more intentional and genuine as they’ve come from a place of being spiritually aware.
Unlike my old friendships, these are built on vulnerability, openness and honesty.
What does this mean for you?
It’s time to get excited if you’re going through a shift and becoming more spiritually aware… Get ready for new, inspiring people to rock up in your life!